Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

North Korea nuclear test catalyzes Obama critics
By Andrew BEATTY
Washington (AFP) Jan 6, 2016

US Republicans clamored to paint North Korea's surprise nuclear test as yet another failure of Barack Obama's foreign policy Wednesday, rounding on the outgoing president as he faced a stern new overseas challenge.

"Our enemies around the world are taking advantage of Obama's weakness," White House contender Senator Marco Rubio said, blasting the 44th president for standing "idly by" as a "lunatic" leader in Pyongyang threatens international peace.

Republicans vying to replace Obama in 2017 have accused him, and his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton -- the Democratic presidential frontrunner -- of lacking resolve.

They say Obama's overly cautious foreign policy has created a void that the Islamic State group, Russia, China, Iran and now North Korea have stepped into.

It comes after North Korea said it had carried out a "successful" miniaturized hydrogen bomb test -- though experts are skeptical of the claim.

Senator Ted Cruz, another Republican White House candidate, said North Korea's test "underscores the gravity of the threats we are facing right now and also the sheer folly of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy."

"When we look at North Korea, it's like looking at a crystal ball. This is where Iran ends up if we continue on this same misguided path."

Obama came to office in 2009 vowing to extricate the United States from costly foreign wars, while signaling Washington would no longer rush headlong into every global crisis.

He has also engaged with US foes Iran and Cuba, popular bogeymen for Republicans on the campaign trail.

White House aides say Obama's policy is borne from a more steely eyed approach to the US national interest.

But they also admit that policy toward North Korea, which has seen three nuclear tests during Obama's presidency, has been less than a total success.

Obama's broad aim was to get reclusive Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program, stop destabilizing the region and come back to the negotiating table.

"It is true that we have not achieved our goal," conceded White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

"But we have succeeded in making North Korea more isolated than ever before and the international community more united than ever before."

- Tough spot -

North Korea's latest actions leave the White House with a difficult balancing act.

On one hand, Obama needs to carefully craft a response with South Korea and Japan and, perhaps above all, China, North Korea's sole major ally.

"The question is, will Beijing react passively as it has in the past or will it eventually decide to get tougher with Pyongyang and let sanctions bite?" asked Duyeon Kim, a Seoul-based expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Wednesday met the Chinese ambassador at the White House to measure Beijing's intent.

Obama is slated to speak to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye later Wednesday.

Park has made a concerted effort to forge a close relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US officials will hope her newfound sway in Beijing can now be brought to bear.

Meanwhile, inside the United States, Republican demands for tough action point to public pressure on Obama's administration to show steel in the face of international threats.

A recent Economist/YouGov poll showed two-thirds of Americans are unhappy with the way Obama has handled foreign policy.

Earnest rejected Republican criticism as vote seeking.

"They're trying to win votes from conservative Republicans in a presidential primary," he said. "We've heard a lot of campaign rhetoric, but not a lot of specific, tangible suggestions about what should be done differently."

Despite the pressure on the White House and North Korea's seemingly ever-more potent military capabilities, Kim said a dramatic change in US policy was unlikely.

"The administration probably will not shift its current approach, especially with less than a year left of President Obama's term," she said.

"The next administration will need to devise an effective and proactive strategy or else Washington will be faced with some tough decisions."

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
'No reason' for Russia to view US as threat: Pentagon
Washington (AFP) Jan 4, 2016
Russia has no reason to consider the United States a threat to its national security, the Pentagon said Monday after Moscow published a report highlighting Washington and NATO for the first time. Russia's new national security document, signed by President Vladimir Putin on New Year's Eve, names as threats both the United States and the expansion of the NATO alliance, according to the Pentag ... read more

Work on U.S. BMD complex in Poland expected to start in summer

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen capital

Germany withdraws Patriot missiles from Turkey

Israeli missile interceptor passes final test

Lockheed Martin receives $528 million THAAD missile contract

Indian Navy test-fires long range surface-to-air missile

Lockheed Martin to supply 12 rocket systems to UAE

Iran has more missiles than it can hide: General

Tern moves closer to full-scale demonstration of VTOL UAVs for small ships

DARPA awards Northrop Grumman Phase III TERN contract

Drone helps icebreaker navigate treacherous Antarctic

Army unit retires Hunter unmanned aircraft systems

Raytheon to produce, test Navy Multiband Terminals

ADS to build one of two satellites for future COMSAT NG system

Thales and Airbus to supply French military satellite communications

Elbit upgrades tactical intelligence capabilities for Asian country

Russia's Uran-9 robotic combat system hits international market

Kongsberg receives CROWS program order

Turkey contracts Otokar for Cobra II armored vehicles

Forensic seismology tested on 2006 munitions depot 'cook-off' in Baghdad

Germany rethinking arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Germany warns Saudi Arabia it may review military exports

Pentagon needs to cut more civilian jobs, report finds

U.S., Russia dominate arms transfers to developing countries

China announces military reforms

'No reason' for Russia to view US as threat: Pentagon

PM Abe pledges to keep Japan out of war

Beijing rejects Vietnam protest over South China Sea landing

Building better fighter planes and space ships

Program seeks ability to assemble atom-sized pieces into practical products

New acoustic technique reveals structural information in nanoscale materials

Nanodevices at one-hundredth the cost

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement